Fueling a New Bubble

So, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the beleaguered government sponsored agencies, which were seized by the US government during the financial crisis, recently announced programs to back loans to low and moderate income borrowers who would only be required to put down three percent, a two percent reduction in what Fannie and Freddie have required.  … [Read more…]

Foreclosure Wave 2.0

A recent article by Jann Swanson of the Mortgage News Daily reports on a troubling “tetrad of housing landmines” that could usher in a new wave of foreclosure activity.  Pulling from a from Octavio Nuiry’s Housing Landmines: Are Mortgage Flare Ups Coming Soon?, Swanson reports that while foreclosure activity is waning nationwide, a new wave … [Read more…]

Loosening the Belt on Mortgage Underwriting?

David Dayen of the liberal New Republic recently reported on a speech by Mel Watts, the chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has served as the conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since the financial crisis.  Dayen argues that Watt “signaled to mortgage bankers that they can loosen their underwriting standards, … [Read more…]

Progressive Housing Policy – Laying the Blame for the Housing Bubble on “Affirmative Credit”

A recent article by Michael Booth in the admittedly conservative online magazine American Thinker posits that the much of the blame for the housing crisis can be traced to the Democrat’s “affirmative credit” policies.  Booth argues that the naming of Michael Raines as the CEO of Fannie Mae turned Fannie Mae into a Democratic “campaign … [Read more…]

Mortgage Settlements and Tax Liability

It is interesting that some attribute the phrase “Monkey on my back” to an older phrase: “Monkey on the roof,” which referred to one’s mortgage.  Well, call it a monkey or a 900-pound gorilla – either way – Bank of America just loosed some kind of opposable-thumb animal from its back.  One troubling aspect of … [Read more…]

The $16.65 billion Bank of America Settlement

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a massive global settlement between Bank of America and the US Justice Department, other federal agencies (including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Housing Administration, and Ginnie Mae), and six states, to resolve claims connected to toxic residential mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and an origination release … [Read more…]